How can you tell if you were exposed to smoke or have COVID?

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Research from Harvard University shows a link between an increased risk for COVID and exposure to wildfire smoke – even if the smoke is coming in from a long distance – like the smoke here.

Western SmokeAccording to the CDC, symptoms related to COVID can include dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.

How can you tell if you were exposed to smoke or have COVID?

Monument Health Critical Care physician Dr. Michael Hansen explains the similarities.

Dr. Hansen says, “With the COVID patients coming in, a lot of them are having head colds, and that kind of is a precursor before they start having the virus really affect their lungs with shortness of breath and so forth. So, when people have smoke inhalation, they can sort of get the same type of symptoms; the sinus congestion, runny nose, that sort of thing.”

Dr. Hansen recommends anyone with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, after being around others, get tested.

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